Sunday, 4 October 2015

Rufus Dayglo - Take Heart!

"Attenshun!!! Fall in with Bad Company, you maggots! Sergeant Dayglo will now give us a sit rep on this weeks' Bad Company cover! Make sure you listen soldier, you life could depend on it!"

"After starting the new Bad Company - First Casualties series, I was asked to do a cover. Prog 1950 was a jumping on issue, so naturally Tharg wanted Dredd on the cover, so I got to a cover for episode two. However, my first ideas were referential to the first episode as I didn’t know at the time 1950 was a jumping on issue, so I went with Danny’s nightmare of dying overlaid with Kano, to reintroduce the characters, and to add drama…is Danny dead??"

Oooooh, that'll be sore...

"The other was a slightly more generic crazy Kano…what’s happened to him? How has he been changed?"

Dammit! Kano had run out of Frizzeaze again!
"By the time I got the second script, it was all about the reappearance of Kano, so I went with a Joe Kubert approach. He’d do these awesome war covers for Sgt Rock, or Unknown Soldier where the viewer can’t see the approaching horror, so all you see is the soldier’s reaction  (for example, an oncoming Tank attack!)"

Not quite the kind of Kubert image Rufus was talking about but I just liked it, okay!?!

The ghost of Michael Jackson comforts Sgt. Rock. 
"I also wanted Dialogue on the cover. I think it’s proper old school, and I loved character’s leading you into the story with shock dialogue!!!"

Kano put Danny over his knee...
"So I went with the idea of Danny facing the zombified undead Kano for the first time….Kano’s Krool blood kind of regening him, hideously remorphing him with krool spikes as he heals from wounds, making him more like the old enemy. And for a humourous twist, I thought it’d be cool to have Danny looking THROUGH the damage in Kano’s war ravaged body. Proper Frankenstein material!"

A hole lot of trouble for Kano

"I did a bunch of thumbnails before going for that composition, then drew out the full figure to ‘anchor’ the scene for me. I then sent a little coloured rough to Tharg, he approved it, munching through some fresh Styrofoam cups, and gave me galactic permission to proceed with my artdroid duties."

I love them ALL!!!
Maybe it's time for Tharg to do variant covers?

I then inked and coloured the cover digitally...

"Erm... h-hi Kano... you look erm... different. Have you done something with your hair?

Why are Bad Company good at golf?
'Cos they always get a hole in one!
(I'll get me coat...)

"I then put a strap line and dialogue balloon on a separate layer, as a guide for the designer to correct/improve it."

Rufus plays designer, look he forgot to cover the title...

"Then BOOM, onto the Galaxy’s Comics shops shelves!"

The title is covered, normality is restored!
I would like to thank Rufus from the bottom of my Krool heart for sending the wealth of images and his enthusiastic and entertaining text. He's had a REALLY busy weekend but still took the time to send me multiple emails with more and more amazing images!
I'd also like to take this moment to thank Rufus and Jim McCarthy for their amazing work on the current strip. It is genuinely incredible and I'm sure I speak for many when I say it's a truly fitting tribute to the late, great Brett Ewins.  

Nick Percival - In the myre with The Gyre!

This week, the always awesome Nick Percival sent an unlettered version of his teaser image for his and Mike Carroll's forthcoming Dredd tale 'The Gyre!' It looks and sounds absolutely epic, Nick says "This is really just a teaser image for the storyline that I did before I got the completed script, so it’s deliberately vague but just gives a hint of the mood and style of the series. It’s Dredd out of his comfort zone, limited to basic weapons and in a hostile environment.”

Hell yeah!!! Here is Nick's Dredd sketch...

"Get to da choppah!"

And an exclusive teaser panel from the actual strip, amazing! Poor Dredd, he's just got out of the snow and now it's pissing down!

Dredd experiences an English summer...

And final the teaser as seen in the Meg. Really looking forward to this one, the bad guy looks absolutely amazing!

Careful with that knife Joe, you'll have his bloody eye out!

Thanks to Nick for sending the images, January can't come soon enough!!!

Friday, 25 September 2015

Chris Burnham - Officer Downs!

Prog 1950 is a fantastic 'jumping on' issue of 2000AD which sports this smashing (ha ha ha, I am hilarious!) cover by none other than superstar artist Chris Burnham! The artist has brought us Grant Morrison's Nameless, Batman incorporated and, of course, the brilliant Officer Downe - a cop who would give our beloved Joe a run for his creds!
Below is Chris' thumbnail, quite coincidental that Chris' thumbnails look like Dredd blasting out a window. I wonder how he holds his pencil...  
 "You talkin' to me?"
Chris sorts the layout...

Dredd always got carried away at a Greek wedding... 
Next are Chris' pencils as the cover really starts to take shape...
The boy in blue...

Why can't he just use a doorbell like everyone else?
 Which lead to these frigging awesome inks...
 Dredd really hates those Jehovah's Witnesses...
Finally, the inks get passed to the wonderfully named Nathan Fairbairn to colour with his digital felt tips, absolutely stunning!

Curly, Larry and Moe meet Joe with hilarious consequences! 
And here's how the cover looks on your comic, cor!
Window popping.
HUGE thanks to Chris for taking time out in his busy schedule to send the images for this fantastically action packed cover! I'd love to see him do a carnage-filled Dredd strip! You can check out Chris' other work here: 

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Dave Kendall - Game of Bones!

Creepiest cover of the year for the second year running for Dave Kendall? The esteemed artist brings his nightmarish 'Dreams of Deadworld' series to a chilling climax with this absolutely amazing cover painting for Prog 1949.

And what a cover this is! The sinister smiling super fiend surveying the horrific hellworld he has created, amazing work! Over to Dave to tell us about the creation of this petrifying portrait...

"So this is the second and final cover for Dreams of Deadworld. As Death was represented by the statue on the first cover I gave him the limelight on this one. I decided to focus in on the last couple of panels of the final strip. Death in his bony chair. I based it on the Ossuary of Sedlec and numerous other places around the world."

 The episode of Changing Rooms that finally got Laurence Llewellyn Bowen the sack.
Dave continues "As usual the process starts in the sketchbook. A few doodles and ideas.  I did think about the idea of Death in stern and straight on pose so often seen when Dredd is seated. I felt Death would look more relaxed and sinister so quickly decided on that direction to take."
Mock ups of next weeks' outrageous Daily Mail articles about Jeremy Corbyn.
 "Can I not even have a sssssshit in peaccccce!?!"
"I then decided to have a little fun in a large sketchbook and produce this version which is pretty close to the final pencils. I digitally coloured this for Tharg’s OK."
 "Ahhhh, Mr Dredd, I've been exxxxxxpecting you!" 

 "Now then, now then! Come here and I'll give you your Fix It badge..."
"Although pretty happy with this I gave the image and pencils another pass. I slightly tilted the head and generally improved the detail. This provided the basis for the final traditional painting."

Say what you like about Old Ssssyndey, he always has lovely nails. 

"It was then a matter of painting this. It went pretty smoothly and this first image is what I presented to Tharg."  
Sssssitting on the dead of the bay. 

 The logo of Damocles!
"Tharg felt this version had Death blending in too much with his chair so I was asked to make Death pop from his background.
With a few more tweaks in colour and clarity, I came up with this final version." 
"Hail to the King, baby!"
And here's how the prog looks in your Newsagent's shop, no doubt hidden behind Caravans Weekly to stop the kids from being scared! 
Death loved relaxing on the old rotting chair in front of Judge Fire...
A HUUUUGE thanks to Dave for sending the images and text. I absolutely adore this cover, a truly fitting end to a visually stunning series that has given us a fascinating glimpse into the life (or should that be death?) in Deadworld following the great purge!
Be sure to check out more of Dave's horrific masterpieces at

Friday, 18 September 2015

Dave Taylor - Dave Chaos!

Bloody hell, you'd think Dave Taylor would tidy up a bit wouldn't you? This cover is going on the galaxy's greatest comic for crying out loud, you'd think he'd at least run the hoover around a bit and pick up some of those skulls. Messy git!

Tharg's most insanely intricate artdroid is back in Prog 1948 in the circuit frazzling story "Ghost Town." Fans of the artist will be thrilled, and not completely surprised, to learn that this excellent tale features some of his trademark cityscapes and his amazing robots - I'm in heaven!

Over to the man... I mean droid himself, to tell us more...

"Half way through drawing the strip I realised there was a damn good cover waiting to be done for this. "Hmm" I mused, "I'll get a 2000AD cover out of this, which is always a thrill, I'll get paid for doing it, which is always a thrill AND Pete Wells will feature it on his very excellent blog, which is always a thrill, I guess."

Yes, yes it is. You see gentle reader, every artist who's work appears on this blog gets a signed, tastefully nude picture of myself recreating their cover. That's why Dave went for the full frontal shot, the cheeky minx.

He continues "So I quickly doodled this sketch and sent it off. Tharg, in his majesty, said something like "Oh, OK." at which point I sprang into action!"

A really special(s) cover

"I spent about three hours roughing this out, channeling everything I love about science fiction from my memory banks. I wanted to make this as classic feeling as I could. I use a Faber-Castell Phthaloblau, Phthalo Blue 9201-110*** pencil, if you must know."

"But he looks so thin" I hear the cry from the balcony. "Yes" I shout back, "He's meant to. This is Dredd at his lowest, drained, used, had a f^*>ing nuf!"

"I'm going... home!"

"The inking probably took me the most amount of time on this one. It's the stage I thought was ether make or break."

"My long study and admiration of the work of Jean Giraud (Moebius) is always considered at times like this."

I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with 'B'

"Now it's time for the "colouring in" bit (on computer). After the image is scanned in and cleaned up a little, I started throwing colour at it, just putting down vague "flat" tones. I have an idea to make it as gritty as I can, as dark and moody, but with no clear colour pallet in mind."

Some expert colouring in-ness by one of the industry's top colourer innerers

Dave continues "I start adding texture, for to make it more "texture."

To make it more "texture," Dave blindfolds himself and eats a blueberry muffin over the artwork whilst doing star jumps. Always the traditionalist.

"Now I'm thinking "lighting". When I was ill for a few years I used the time away from my desk as wisely as I could, studying the work of that old art guy Mr Leonardo da Vinci. He taught me that lighting should be considered before colouring. It's all about the lighting. What are the light sources? How strong are they? And who's shining that torch at this hour?"

Dredd feeling a bit light headed...

"Once I'm happy with the lighting I begin to tighten the image up with background detail, throwing the background as far back as it'll take, making an attempt at creating depth."

Is... is that a giant nob end in the sky?

"Here's where the magic really happens...a simple colour layer over everything, finding the overall colour mood of the image."

According to the Daily Mail, this is what the UK will look like 100 days after the election of Jeremy Corbyn.
"Finally a little bit of polishing... and we're done." DAVE! This is a family blog! Ooooh, you mean of the picture? Carry on sir... "Time for a glass of fine red wine and to sit back and think "Hmmm, it's OK. If I had more time and didn't have mouths to feed I'd probably start again, taking weeks to perfect the image in an attempt to get my work seen in fine art galleries around the world. But it'll do. I'm a little bit drunk now. This wine is very tasty."

More polish than Mr Sheen!

Dave continues "Here's where you drop in the published image and make rude yet amusing comments..." Oh! Right... erm... here is the published version featuring Dredd's glistening purple helmet. Ayethenkou!

The final resting place of U2's guitarist...

Huuuuuuge thanks to the lovely Dave for sending the images and brilliant commentary, an absolutely outstanding artist and a real 2000AD treasure!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Henry Flint - Red Dredd Redemption!

Wow! Henry Flint brings Enceladus to a barnstorming climax with this frankly amazing cover! Dredd storms out of the frozen wastes of Hell like a Horseman of the Apocalypse! This series has had some incredible covers, watch out for a Titan covers special soon!
Over to Henry to tell us about the making of the cover. Somewhat bitterly, he says "I drew a horse for my Art A Level back at school and bodged it up getting only a C. I'd never drawn a horse before so my own fault for being a smart arse. A case of self belief over actual skill. This cover is revenge!" Henry Flint getting a C for A Level art, are you kidding me!?!
Henry continues "I've included a badly drawn cover sketch for Tharg which I reversed as it's better for a cover to have movement going left to right so readers are directed towards unfolding the pages."
The cover for the rejected Dredd/My Little Pony Crossover comic...
Below are Henry's stunning inks. To get that splatter, he dipped a real horse's tail in ink and chased it around his studio. Either that, or he used a toothbrush, he didn't say...
 A strange choice for the new face of TSB...
Next Henry paints the picture then wipes his arse all over the canvas. The white bits? You really don't want to know...
 Megacity austerity measures are getting ridiculous!
And here's how the cover looks in your local Thrill Merchant shop!
Brucey's memorable entry to Generation Game on a horse "Ice to see ya... to see ya..."
Huge thanks to Henry for sending those amazing images, another damn contender for cover of the year! These artdroids don't like making it easy do they!?!